Analysis of the Agenda of the Plenary Meeting of the Verkhovna Rada

Fri, 18/09/2020 - 10:45

10:00-11:00. The Hour of Questions to the Government about the work of the Trilateral Contact Group on Peaceful Settlement of the Situation in Donbas, support to the educational process under conditions of rise of the coronavirus disease cases, and the state of payroll for the employees of institutes of education.

 

Draft Law No. 4000 (author: Cabinet of Ministers) "On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2021" – it will be presented in accordance with the full discussion procedure. If 226 votes are not given for dismissing the bill, it will automatically be considered to have been accepted for consideration and the MPs will be able to submit proposals (amendments) to it until October 1. Amendments to the Budget submitted by the Committee after October 1 will not be considered. Since in 2020 the VR suspended, on account of the coronavirus crisis, the provision of the Budget Code on adoption of the Budget Declaration and in fact failed to approve it, the Government had its hands free when developing the draft State Budget for 2021. And so now the parliament has no legal grounds to vote for dismissing the draft for its non-correspondence to the Budget Declaration.

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Draft Law No. 3004а (author: D. Arakhamia) ON AMENDING THE LAW OF UKRAINE ON THE STATE BUDGET OF UKRAINE FOR 2020” (REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 11 OF THE LAW OF UKRAINE “ON THE NATURAL GAS MARKET”) (first reading, the Committee proposes that the bill be adopted as a basis) – the bill provides for conducting mutual settlement between Ukrnafta, Naftogaz and the Budget for an actual amount of 42.2 billion UAH. Ukrnafta has a debt to the Budget dating back to previous periods related to payment of the profit tax, rental payments, and penal sanctions for 30.5 billion UAH, which has been appealed to court. Moreover, based on the results of the sale (delivery) of natural gas, Ukrnafta is to pay to Naftogaz a VAT and a profit tax amounting to 6.2 billion UAH. The bill establishes that Ukrnafta will make its current payments (for 2020) related to the profit tax, VAT and rental not in accordance with the usual procedure of payment to the general fund of the State Budget, but to a special fund and that all those amounts paid to the special fund will be deemed to discharge the aforementioned Ukrnafta debts (30.5 + 6.2 = 36.7 billion UAH).

On the other hand, the State has not been performing its duties in respect of Naftogaz related to compensation for economically justified expenditures required by interests of society as a whole. The amount accumulated in the past few years is already as high as 32.2 billion UAH. When that amount is transferred to Naftogaz, the latter will be obliged to pay a profit tax of 5.5 billion UAH. The Draft Law provides that those 5.5 billion hryvnias will also be paid by Naftogaz to the special fund rather than to the general fund of the State Budget.

All those resources – 36.7+5.5=42,2 billion UAH from the special fund – will be used as compensation for the economically justified expenditures of Naftogaz required by the common interests of society (32.2 billion UAH) and for financing state measures aimed at supporting infrastructural projects (10 billion UAH).

FOR (+) 3004а: settlement of Ukrnafta’s debt to the State Budget without long court proceedings; securing the State against Ukrnafta losing the case in court; additional funding for infrastructural projects.

AGAINST (-) 3004а: the complexity and intricacy of the system of mutual settlement of debts; factual forgiving Ukrnafta’s debt of 36.7 billion UAH which it would otherwise have to pay to the Budget; lack of information on the real state of the judicial dispute concerning Ukrnafta’s appeal against its tax debt; the declarative nature of the norm according to which Ukrnafta commits itself to take action, within a 10-day period, to withdraw its claims related to challenging the debts that it is required to pay based on decisions of regulatory agencies, since Ukrnafta has its own managing bodies (the board, the supervisory board) which have economic competence to adopt decisions on withdrawing claims filed with courts.

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Draft Law No. 3005а (author: D. Arakhamia) (first reading, the Committee proposes that the bill be adopted as a basis and at once as a whole) ON AMENDING SECTION XX “TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS” OF THE TAX CODE OF UKRAINE (REGARDING THE SPECIFICS OF ADMINISTERING TAXES RELATED TO TRANSACTIONS PERFORMED UNDER PARAGRAPHS 31 AND 32, ARTICLE 14 OF THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON THE STATE BUDGET OF UKRAINE FOR 2020") – the bill provides for conducting setoffs and mutual settlements provided for by relevant provisions of the Law of Ukraine “On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2020” in accordance with Draft Law No. 3004a. Therefore, Draft Law No. 3005a is completely dependent on Draft Law No. 3004a.

FOR (+) 3005а: analogous to the strengths of Draft Law No. 3004а.

AGAINST (-) 3005а: analogous to the weaknesses of Draft Law No. 3004а.

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Draft Laws 3577 (Cabinet of Ministers), 3577-1 (N.Korolevska) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt 3577 as a basis) ON AMENDMENTS TO SOME LEGISLATIVE ACTS ON THE PROTECTION OF THE HOUSING RIGHTS OF ORPHAN CHILDREN AND CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF PARENTAL CARE – It is proposed for orphans, children deprived of parental care after reaching the age of 23 to keep the right to receive emergency housing, as well as to provide the right to receive monetary compensation for housing.

FOR (+) 3577: strengthening the protection of housing rights of orphans.

AGAINST (-) 3577: the age at which orphans and children deprived of parental care may receive monetary compensation for their housing has not been determined (registration is carried out from the age of 16); additional budget costs.

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Draft Laws 3573 (Cabinet of Ministers) and 3573-1 (N.Korolevska) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt 3573 as a basis) On Amendments to Article 2 of the law of UKRAINE "On state social assistance to people with disabilities from childhood and children with disabilities" regarding the increase of state social assistance FOR children with disabilities affected by explosive devices – the amount of state social assistance for children with disabilities under the age of 18 who have suffered from explosives is increased by 50%. (+ up to UAH 500 depending on the child's category).

FOR (+) 3573: strengthening social protection of injured children, especially victims of hostilities in eastern Ukraine, including UXO/ERW incidents.

AGAINST (-) 3573: inconsistency of approximate estimates that 111 children will need such assistance, because only according to the reports of UNICEF, Danish Refugee Council, Danish Demining Group in the period 2014-2018, 119 children suffered from the explosive remnants of the war. Lack of data from the occupied territory. The actual number of people who can claim such payments may be much higher.

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 Draft Law 3375 (D. Monastyrsky) (first reading, the Committee recommends adoption as a whole) ON CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON Public procurement" in connection with the adoption of THE law OF UKRAINE "On amendments to some legislative acts OF UKRAINE ON THE FACILITATION OF pre-trial investigation of certain categories of criminal offenses" – technical amendments to the law on public procurement to replace the word "crime" with the words "criminal offense". Such changes have previously been made to the legislation of Ukraine.

FOR (+) 3375: bringing the Law "On Public Procurement" in line with current legislation of Ukraine.

AGAINST (-) 3375: inconsistency of previously adopted laws; wasting the time of the parliament on technical amendments.

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Draft Laws 3287 (D. Monastyrsky) and 3287-1 (D. Hetmantsev) (first reading, the Committee recommends adoption of 3287-1 as a whole) On amendments to the Customs Code UKRAINE IN CONNECTION WITH THE adoption of the Law OF UKRAINE "On amendments to some legislative acts OF UKRAINE ON THE FACILITATION OF pre-trial investigation of certain categories of criminal offenses" – technical amendments to the Customs Code regarding the replacement of the word “crime” with the words “criminal offense”, as well as the replacement of the term “criminal encroachments” with the phrase “criminal-illegal encroachments”. Some terminological inconsistencies in the Electoral Code and the Law "On Peculiarities of State Regulation of Business Entities Related to the Sale and Export of Timber" are eliminated, namely: the term "revenue and fee bodies" is replaced by "tax authorities". Similar changes have previously been made to the legislation of Ukraine.

FOR (+) 3287-1: elimination of inconsistencies and contradictions in the terminology of legislative acts.

AGAINST (-) 3287-1: inconsistency of previously adopted laws; wasting the time of the parliament on technical amendments.

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Draft Law 3961 (Cabinet of Ministers) (first reading, the Committee recommends adoption as a whole) ON AMENDMENT TO PARAGRAPH 1 OF SECTION XII FINAL AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS OF THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON CONCESSION" – proposes to postpone from October 1, 2020 to January 1, 2022 the deadline for the introduction of practical operation of the electronic trading system – a two-tier information and telecommunications system with databases and electronic platforms for concession tenders and competitive dialogue in electronic form.

FOR (+) 3961: the practical impossibility of implementing the relevant electronic trading system by October 1, 2020, as required by law.

AGAINST (-) 3961: failure of the Government to fulfill the tasks established by law; lack of responsibility of specific officials, due to whose actions the parliament should support the forced postponement of the launch of the electronic trading system

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Draft Law 0853 (S. Khlan, deputy of the 8th convocation) (2nd reading, the Committee recommends adoption as a whole) ON AMENDMENTS TO SOME LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE REGARDING THE SPECIFICATION OF THE PROCEDURE FOR TRANSFER OF WATER FACILITIES IN A COMPLEX WITH LAND PLOTS – elimination of conflicts in the legal regulation of lease relations in the field of water use; clarification of the provisions of the Law "On Land Lease" regarding the lease of water bodies, the use of land under water bodies, special water use, the use of hydraulic structures, water abstraction for irrigation, return water discharge, fishery needs.

FOR (+) 0853: simplification of water facilities lease; prevention of conflict situations, when the right to use a water body and land under this object belong to different tenants.

AGAINST (-) 0853: lack of provisions on control over the discharge of leachate into leased water bodies and liability for violation of the standards of maximum permissible discharge of pollutants; threat of environmental pollution; potential abuses due to uncertainty of permissible terms of land lease in the complex with the water body located on it.

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Draft Law 2051-1 (I. Krivosheev) (second reading, the Committee recommends returning to the second reading) ON LIMITATION OF THE CIRCULATION OF PLASTIC PACKAGES ON THE TERRITORY OF UKRAINE – to minimize the circulation of plastic bags and stimulate the production of biodegradable plastic bags prohibits from January 1, 2022 the circulation of oxo-folding bags in retail outlets and restaurants, as well as the free distribution of such packages; assigns the function of recycling plastic bags to businesses that distribute such bags.

FOR (+) 2051-1: prevention of environmental pollution, as one Ukrainian consumes about 500 packages per year, while in Europe it is 85-90 packages per year; entrusting the disposal of plastic bags to the business entity will encourage entrepreneurs to abandon the use of such packages.

AGAINST (-) 2051-1: increase in costs for entrepreneurs and consumers, because the cost of a biodegradable package is greater than a plastic one; possible negative socio-economic effect; exceptional situation when the Committee itself proposes to return for a second reading, which irrationally spends the time of the plenary work of the Verkhovna Rada.

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Draft Law 2351 (O. Marikovsky) (second reading) ON AMENDMENTS TO CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE (REGARDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PROVISIONS OF CERTAIN INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND EU DIRECTIVES IN THE FIELD OF PROTECTION OF ANIMAL AND PLANT LIFE) – prohibits: exterminate stray animals, beat, kill, poison or maim stray and domestic animals; begging with homeless, domestic and wild animals; give pets as prizes, awards or bonuses, inflict pain or suffering on them, train animals in a way that harms their health and general condition, drown, strangle animals, poison and use electricity; keep captive animals that pose a threat to humans or animals listed in the Red Book; use of animals for advertising, provide photo services with wild animals, except for zoos, circuses and dolphinariums, etc. It also provides for the strengthening of criminal and administrative liability for cruelty to animals. The powers of local governments in the field of protection of animals from cruelty are defined.

FOR (+) 2351: Ukraine's fulfillment of international obligations; promoting humane treatment of animals; strengthening the fight against animal cruelty and poaching.

AGAINST (-) 2351: the transfer of powers of the Ministry of Ecology (Ministry of Environment) to determine the types and procedures for animal protection to local governments (regional councils) may worsen the protection of animals; consideration of cases of ill-treatment exclusively by courts will increase the burden on judges.

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Draft Law 3450 (G. Yanchenko) (Committee recommends to adopt as a basis) ON AMENDMENTS TO CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE REGARDING REGULATION OF CERTAIN ISSUES OF PROTECTION OF WHISTLEBLOWERS – creates a single state portal of reports on corruption and improves the work of the NAPC on the protection of whistleblowers, enshrines their right to free legal aid, confidentiality and anonymity of reports, remuneration in cases specified by law, as well as psychological assistance.

FOR (+) 3450: creation of a single portal will save budget funds (the cost of deploying the portal in a single body (there are more than 80 total) can cost from 2 to 5 million UAH, as it will not be necessary to deploy each system in each government agency, a higher level of information protection, guarantee of anonymity.

AGAINST (-) 3450: budget expenditures for system deployment; unwillingness of NAPC staff, who are not practicing lawyers, to professionally represent whistleblowers in court.

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Draft Law 2329 (М.Tkachenko) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt as a basis) ON AMENDMENTS TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON ENSURING THE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS" REGARDING THE RELEASE OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS FROM THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO MAKE MONEY OBLIGATIONS – establishes that the total amount of interest under credit / loan agreements in which the debtors are internally displaced persons (hereinafter referred to as IDPs) may not exceed the amount of interest accrued before the maturity of the principal obligation; exempts IDPs from penalties (fines, penalties) and taking into account the inflation index and other financial sanctions for the period of delay in fulfilling the obligation.

FOR (+) 2329: reducing the financial burden on IDPs and protecting them from the negative effects of forced relocation due to armed conflict.

AGAINST (-) 2329: losses from non-compliance of IDPs with their obligations to the banking system; lack of any compensators for business entities; declarativeness of the law and its contradiction to the civil, economic, financial legislation; linking the date (April 14, 2014 – the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation in Donbass) to the attribution of persons to IDPs does not take into account the interests of migrants from the annexed Crimea.

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Draft Law 2374 (М.Tkachenko) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt as a basis) ON TEMPORARY MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SOLVENCY OF ENTERPRISES WHICH CARRIED OUT ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES IN THE TEMPORARLY OCCUPIED TERRITORY IN DONETSK AND LUHANSK REGIONS – provides the suspension until January 1, 2022 of enforcement proceedings, enforcement measures, lifting of arrests and prohibitions on the alienation of property, closing bankruptcy cases against legal entities whose production facilities and assets are located in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions or those that conducted their business activities in these areas as of 14 April 2014.

FOR (+) 2374: protection of the interests of enterprises affected by the temporary occupation, preservation of the production potential of Donbas; preservation of all obligations to pay salaries, severance pay, alimony, SSST.

AGAINST (-) 2374: violation of the rights of creditors – counterparties of companies whose debts are proposed to be written off; the uncertainty of the procedures for confirming that the company operated in the occupied territories creates a wide field for abuse; the absence of any compensators for possible losses for those enterprises whose property rights are violated by the implementation of this law; declarativity of the norms of the law, which will contradict the civil, economic, financial legislation; judicial prospect of repayment of written off debts.

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Draft Laws 3010 (M. Galushko), 3010-1 (A. Kozhemyakin) ABOUT PRIVATE DETECTIVE ACTIVITY (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt as a basis 3010) – establishment of the institute of private detectives – persons who have expressed a desire to engage individually or by providing customers with specific services (search, receipt, recording, analysis and transmission of information about persons, objects and events) with the aim to protect their rights and legitimate interests on a paid contract basis; a private detective can be a natural person who has the citizenship of Ukraine, full higher legal education or higher education in the specialty "law enforcement", speaks the state language, has work experience in the field of law or law enforcement for 3 years minimum, has been trained and received a certificate; The Ministry of Justice is responsible for training, advance training of detectives, issuance of certificates, maintenance of the Unified Register of Detectives, and consideration of complaints about their activities.

FOR (+) 3010: legalization of detective activity will increase the number of jobs and revenues to the state budget (for the issuance of a certificate it is planned to charge a fee of 1 subsistence level for able-bodied persons); unloading of pre-trial investigation bodies.

AGAINST (-) 3010: failure to give detectives the right to collect evidence in procedural law will complicate the recognition of the information collected by them as evidence in criminal proceedings; the lack of access of private detectives to law enforcement databases will reduce their "competitiveness".

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Draft Law 3055 (P. Frolov) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt as a basis) ON AMENDMENTS TO CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE REGARDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONVENTION ON PROTECTION OF CHILDREN against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (THE LANZAROTE CONVENTION) – it is proposed to criminalize: -grooming (sexual harassment of a child with a punishment up to 3 years in prison), -storage without the purpose of sale or viewing child porn with a punishment of 3-6 months of arrest or up to 3 years in prison), - conducting or participating in a spectacular sexual activity (including on the Internet) with a punishment of 5-7 years in prison. Statutes of limitations for crimes of sexual violence against children are not counted from the date of the crime, but after the child reaches the age of 18. Legal entities (porn sites, porn studios, dens) are also criminally liable for relevant illegal actions against children, it is also envisaged to prosecute (liquidation, confiscation of money in accounts). The CPC includes norms on the protection and special proceedings against child victims of sexual violence. 

FOR (+) 3055: strengthening the protection of children victims of sexual violence, as the relevant Convention was ratified in 2012. For 8 years, Ukraine has not brought into line with it neither the Criminal Code, nor the CPC, nor the law on child protection. As a result: according to UNICEF, Ukraine is among the top 5 producers of child pornography and among the top 10 leaders in its distribution in the world – the law will gradually change this situation for the better.

AGAINST (-) 3055: insufficient amendments to the CPC to prevent psychological trauma to child victims; the threat of prosecution of persons who accidentally visited the site with child porn.

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Draft Law 3911 (Cabinet of Ministers) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt as a basis) ON AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE 259 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE OF UKRAINE CONCERNING STRENGTHENING LIABILITY FOR A KNOWLY FALSE REPORT ABOUT THE THREAT TO THE SECURITY OF CITIZENS – punishes “jokers about mining” not only with “imprisonment” for a term of 2 to 6 years, but also with confiscation of property, if the objects of false information are critical infrastructure or which provide the activities of public authorities or health care / educational facilities or in the event of serious consequences or recurrence of such crimes.

FOR (+) 3911: reducing the number of knowingly false reports about the threat to public safety; increase in state budget revenues due to the use of confiscation of property of criminals.

AGAINST (-) 3911: the strengthening of sanctions usually does not lead to a reduction in crimes, which is confirmed by the practice of strengthening sanctions for the same crimes in 2012 and maintaining the trend of increasing the number of these crimes; the use of confiscation in the absence of a focus on the criminal's own enrichment is contrary to the principles of confiscation; failure to resolve the issue of receiving such false messages from the territory of other states, or using the Internet; Ukraine does not have an obligation to identify SIM card holders, which would be a more effective measure to reduce this type of crime.

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Draft Law 2477 (O. Gerega) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt as a basis) ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CUSTOMS CODE OF UKRAINE IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADOPTION OF THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON STANDARDIZATION" – it is proposed to exclude references to international, national and industry standards, as well as standards and specifications adopted by enterprises, institutions and organizations.

FOR (+) 2477: compliance with the principle of voluntary application of international, national and industry standards, as well as standards and specifications adopted by enterprises, institutions and organizations; simplification of business conditions; exclusion of contradictory norms.

AGAINST (-) 2477: non-compliance with standards and technical conditions may damage the quality and completeness of products imported to Ukraine.

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Draft Law 0051 (President) ON RATIFICATION OF THE GUARANTEE AGREEMENT BETWEEN UKRAINE AND THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK (PROJECT "SUBSTATION RELIABILITY INCREASE PROGRAM") – The agreement provides for the reconstruction of 11 substations 330 kV and 1 substation 750 kV of the Dnipro Electricity System at the expense of EIB loans in the amount of 136 million euros. The project will be implemented in Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhia and Donetsk regions.

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Draft Law 0058 (President) ON THE ACCESSION OF UKRAINE TO THE INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION ON MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS AND THE OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION ON MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS – Ukraine has settled relations in this area only with Canada, Brazil, Panama, Argentina and the United States, so ratification will accelerate the settlement of cooperation in the field of legal aid and criminal justice with other countries of the South American and North American continents and the use of multilateral instruments; the Ministry of Justice (for requests from courts) and the Office of the Prosecutor General (for requests from pre-trial investigation bodies) are designated as central authorities for the purposes of the Convention.

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Draft Law 0059 (Cabinet of Ministers) ON RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CABINET OF MINISTERS OF UKRAINE AND THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO ON INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS AND CARGO.

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Draft Law 0061 (Cabinet of Ministers) ON RATIFICATION OF THE PROTOCOL BETWEEN THE CABINET OF MINISTERS OF UKRAINE AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF QATAR ON AMENDMENTS AND ADDITIONS TO THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CABINET OF MINISTERS OF UKRAINE AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF QATAR ON AIR CONNECTION.-----

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Draft Law 0062 (President) ON RATIFICATION OF THE PROTOCOL ON AMENDMENTS TO THE STATUTE OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – GUAM – In 2017, at the initiative of Ukraine, the format of meetings of representatives of GUAM member states at the level of heads of government was launched, which had a positive impact on the development of cooperation within GUAM. Given the constitutional changes in the form of government in some GUAM states, on September 26, 2019 in New York, a decision was approved to amend the GUAM Statute to modernize the GUAM structure by transforming the Council of Heads of State into the Council of Heads of State and Government.

Draft Resolution 2454 (I. Klympush-Tsintsadze) ON AMENDMENTS TO THE RESOLUTION OF THE VERKHOVNA RADA OF UKRAINE "ON THE LIST, QUANTITATIVE COMPOSITION AND SUBJECTS OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEES OF THE VERKHOVNA RADA OF UKRAINE OF THE NINTH CONVOCATION" – changes the name of the Committee on Ukraine's Integration with the European Union (there will be integration not “with the EU” but “to the EU”) and technically clarifies certain issues covered by this committee. Note: there are no changes to another Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada - "On the election of chairmen, first deputies, deputy chairmen, secretaries, members of committees of the Verkhovna Rada of the 9th convocation", and it also lists the names of the Verkhovna Rada Committees.

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Draft Law 2289 (O.Tarasov) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt it in its entirety) ON AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE 4 OF THE LAW OF UKRAINE “ ON PESTICIDES AND AGROCHEMICALS” REGARDING THE IMPORT OF PESTICIDES INTO THE CUSTOMS TERRITORY OF UKRAINE– shall exclude the need for mandatory documentary proof of the state registration of pesticides and agrochemicals in the country of their manufacturing – for their import in Ukraine and the use of the trial batches for the state trials and scientific researches; it shall allow for the use of pesticides and agrochemicals, the registration of which has expired.

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Draft Law 2464 (S.Magera) (first reading, the Committee suggests to return it to the author of this legislative initiative for revision) ON AMENDMENTS OF CERTAIN LAWS OF UKRAINE AS REGARDS  THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN PRINCIPLES OF MODERNIZATION OF THE UKRAINIAN INDUSTRIES – shall enable companies to reduce the amount of ecological tax due to the implementation of environmental modernization projects and other measures to prevent negative environmental impacts.

FOR (+) 2464: introduction of additional incentives for environmental investments; improving the general environmental situation in Ukraine.

AGAINST (-) 2464: possible reduction of state budget revenues; taxation issues are regulated by the Tax Code and cannot be changed by other laws; environmental impact assessment of future planned activities, rather than economic activities, shall not serve the basis for reducing the calculated amount of ecological tax

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Draft Law No. 3563 (O. Dubinskyi) (first reading, the Committee proposes that the bill be adopted as a basis) ON AMENDING CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE REGARDING PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM WATCHING HUNTING – establishes a ban on hunting in the presence of children, and also hunting in the presence of a child is added to the list of violations of rules of hunting; the size of the administrative penalty in the form of a fine in sanctions for violation of hunting rules.

FOR (+) 3563: protection of children from moral suffering arising from watching the killing of animals in the process of hunting; punishment for violations of hunting rules is enhanced.

AGAINST (-) 3563: it is not clear precisely what will be regarded as violation in the form of a child’s presence at the site of hunting; failure in the draft to take into account online demonstrations / watching of videos in the presence of children.

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Draft Law No. 3206 (T. Ryabukha) (first reading, the Committee recommends that the bill be referred to repeat first reading) ON AMENDING CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE REGARDING SIMPLIFICATION OF THE PROCEDURE OF CONSIDERATION OF COURT CASES RELATED TO PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN – when canceling adoption of children by a court decision in connection with the fact that such adoption is against the interests of the child, the court must simultaneously resolve the issue of depriving the adopter of the rights of a parent regarding that child; a court case on adoption will be adjudicated by one judge without involving a jury; no more than five days from the day of initiating proceedings in the case are allowed for preparation of a case on adoption for consideration; child adoption cases will be considered by a court within a reasonable timeframe, but no more than 30 days from the day of initiation of proceedings.

FOR (+) 3206: simplification of the procedure of consideration of court cases related to adoption of a child; development of and support for family-based forms of upbringing of orphaned children and children deprived of parent care.

AGAINST (-) 3206: the shortening of the timeframe for appealing a court decision on the adoption of a child from 30 to 10 days will make it harder to file an appeal; this may result in violation of the rights of the parties to the case as well as the rights and legitimate interests of the child; 5 days from the day of initiation of proceedings in an adoption case for preparing the case for consideration are too short a period, because that time will most likely not be enough for the tutorship and guardianship authority to prepare a quality opinion on the expediency of the adoption, which must be supplemented with a report of the examination of the applicant’s living conditions and a medical certificate on the health condition of the child, the state of the child’s physical and mental development.

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Draft Laws No. 3386 (Cabinet of Ministers) (first reading, the Committee  recommends that the bill be referred to repeat first reading) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE CIVIL PROCEDURAL CODE OF UKRAINE TO SHORTEN THE TIMEFRAME FOR CONSIDERATION OF COURT CASES RELATED TO PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND IMPROVING THE PROCEDURE FOR CONSIDERATION OF STAND-ALONE CASES – the procedural timeframe for court consideration of cases related to adoption, establishment of tutorship and guardianship, deprivation of parents’ rights, removal of a child from parents without depriving them of parents’ rights is shortened; also, the procedure for consideration of stand-alone cases is improved, since the provision regarding participation of a jury in the process of consideration of such cases is removed.

FOR (+) 3386: protection of children, helping them to faster obtain care and a normal family; reduction – a reasonable timeframe, but not more than 30 days for consideration of an adoption case will put an end to the situation when children remain in dangerous conditions or in boarding schools until all the long-term bureaucratic procedures are over.

AGAINST (-) 3386: at the current stage of the judicial reform, it is probably too early to exclude hearing by a jury in civil proceedings, since the consideration of the aforementioned category of cases can have certain corruption risks; unless there is a reservation that in certain specified exceptional cases the procedural timeframe for consideration of certain categories of cases (on deprivation of parents’ rights or on adoption) can be increased the law will not be conducive to full, comprehensive and objective assessment of the circumstances of the case, in particular regarding parents’ attitude towards the child.

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Draft Law 2170 (I. Sovsun) (first reading, the Committee recommends that the bill be returned to the author for improvement) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO LAWS OF UKRAINE ON FINANCING OF HIGHER EDUCATION – the bill provides for transition from the principle of state order for preparation of specialists to state funding of higher education through three budget programs: the Fund of General Financing of Higher Education Institutes; the Fund for Development of Higher Education; and the Fund for Social Support in the System of Higher Education. Funds will be distributed among universities based on a formula which, following a submission from the central executive body in the sphere of education, must be approved by the Government, having regard to performance indices achieved by higher education institutes (number of persons who obtained higher education; level of employment of graduates; results of scientific work; attraction of funds for scientific work; level of internationalization of the university, etc.). The administrator of the budget funds being allocated for the financing of higher education in all institutions other than military ones will be the central executive body in the sphere of education and science. To achieve autonomy in respect of human resources, financing and organization of operation of the institutes of higher education, it is envisaged that a new juridical-legal form will be introduced: “a social institution” – an establishment with no budget of its own which is funded from the State or local budget and has a sufficient degree of autonomy. Private institutes of education will receive state funding if they also operate in the form of a social institution, etc.

FOR (+) 2170: modernization of approaches to the funding of education and of higher education institutes; monitoring of employment of graduates; analysis of the effectiveness of spending state order funds.

AGAINST (-) 2170: cancellation of state funding will deprived students of equal opportunities when starting their studies based on state order funds; separation into scientific and non-scientific higher education institutes will only increase the gap between students and science, since at the point of entering an institute of higher education students have no idea whether or not they will be involved in scientific work; teachers not involved in work in the scientific sector will be deprived of the possibility for increasing their scientific potential.

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Draft Law 2604 (P. Melnyk) (first reading, the Committee recommends that the bill be returned to the author for improvement) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON HIGHER EDUCATION" TO IMPROVE THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITION OF STUDENTS IN UKRAINE – a minimal regular academic stipend and a minimal social stipend are introduced; their sizes must correspond to the minimal subsistence level = which means increasing the size of the stipends already in 2020; increasing the number of persons receiving a social or academic stipend, which must not be lower than 70% of the total number of full-time students funded from the budget; granting the right to receive 2 types of stipends to students requiring social protection.

FOR (+) 2604: increased level of financial support for students, in particular those from socially unprotected families.

AGAINST (-) 2604: the amount of additional funds allocated for stipends is between 3.5 and 20 billion UAH – and that amount is not provided for in the State Budget; if the number of students receiving a stipend is increased to 70%, this will decrease students’ motivation and effective competition in education.

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Draft Law 2664 (I. Kalaur) (first reading, the Committee  proposes that the bill be adopted as a basis) ON PROVISION OF MEALS AT INSTITUTES OF GENERAL SECONDARY EDUCATION – the bill proposes that a comprehensive approach be taken to the principles of organization of provision of meals in institutes of general secondary education: determination of the category of pupils who will be provided with free and privileged meals; regulation of the standards for meals in educational and children’s health improvement and recreation establishments; requirements regarding the logistical basis for organizing meals at institutes of general secondary education; requirements regarding quality and safety of meals at institutes of general secondary education; requirements regarding the number and qualification of employees and incentives for them; regulation of financial issues that help to increase the efficiency of work in this sphere of activity; requirements regarding competition-based selection of contractors providing services in organization of meals at institutes of general secondary education; requirements regarding criteria for assessment of tender winners by using not only price-based but also quality-based parameters; requirements regarding the structure of management, the use of an automated management system.

FOR (+) 2664: the foundations and basic principles of organizing provision of quality and safe meals for children are determined at the legislative level the organization of qualitative and safe food of children at institutes of general secondary education are defined.

AGAINST (-) 2664: the declarative nature of the Draft Law’s norms – which fail to establish specific rights and duties for participants in the sphere of organizing provision of meals; the need for additional spending without indicating the respective sources.

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Draft Laws 2180 (I. Kostankevych), 2180-1 (N. Korolevska) (first reading, the Committee recommends that both bills be returned to their authors) ON AMENDING CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE TO RESTORE JUSTICE AS REGARDS LABOR REMUNERATION PAID TO TEACHERS OF PRE-SCHOOL AND OUT-OF-SCHOOL EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENTS – the bills propose that the level of labor remuneration for teachers of pre-school and out-of-school education establishments be increased.

FOR (+): increased salaries for aides to teachers and nurses; provision of the right to establish extra payments, awards, bonuses and other types of incentives based on own receipts and other sources not prohibited by the law.

AGAINST (-): additional spending from the State Budget without indication of the respective sources.

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Draft Law 2595 (S. Labazyuk) (first reading, the Committee  proposes that the bill be adopted as a basis) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON EDUCATION " REGARDING ATTRACTION OF PRIVATE INVESTORS TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS OF DEFINICENCY OF VACANCIES FOR CHILDREN IN LINDERGARTENS AND SCHOOLS – the bill establishes a privilege for leasing state- and municipally owned property for the placement of institutes of pre-school and general secondary education in the form of state-and-private partnership in the sphere of education and science; local self-government bodies are obligated to designate no less than 1 communally owned object for the placement and functioning of preschool education institutions and to lease them for 1 UAH for a period of 5 years.

FOR (+) 2595: encouragement of state-and-private partnership will be instrumental in resolving the problem of deficiency of vacancies in kindergartens; State and local budget funds allocated for the construction of kindergartens will be saved.

AGAINST (-) 2595: the risk of rented premises being used by dishonest lessors for other purposes, since the bill only provides 1 year for organizing a kindergarten and no liability is provided for such improper use of premises.

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Draft Law 2776 (O. Saladukha) (first reading, the Committee recommends that the bill be returned to the author) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO ARTICLE 44 OF THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON HIGHER EDUCATION" REGARDING SUPPORT FOR PERSONS HAVING SPORTS TITLES AS THEY ENTER INSTITUTES OF HIGHER EDUCATION – persons who have the titles of Honored Coach of Ukraine, Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine, Master of Sports of International Class, Grandmaster of Ukraine, and Master of Sports of Ukraine will receive an extra point for special achievements when entering institutes of higher education specializing in physical culture (institutes of higher education can determine the eight of such bonus point as 5% to 15% of the total competition score).

FOR (+) 2776: it will be easier for talented athletes to enter institutes of higher education; incentives will be created for persons with sports titles and achievements in the field of sports to enter institutes of higher education.

AGAINST (-) 2776: the principle of level playing ground for persons entering institutes of higher education at the expense of State Budget will be violated; non-social privileges will be granted; the competition basis for the exercise of the right to be educated based on state order will be gradually leveled out.

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Draft Law No. 2792 (O. Honcharenko) (first reading, the Committee recommends that the bill be dismissed) ON AMENDING CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF MOBILE TELEPHONES AND OTHER DEVICES WITH CONNECTION TO THE INTERNET AND NOT TO CREATE OBSTACLES FOR ATTAINMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION BY OTHER SEEKERS OF EDUCATION – the bill establishes a ban on the use in schools of mobile telephones and other devices with connection to the Internet (except for the use of such devices for educational purposes and by children with special education needs).

FOR (+) 2792: higher quality of assimilation of knowledge and involvement of pupils in the educational process.

AGAINST (-) 2792: violation of pupils’ rights; such prohibitions may not be a norm of law, but must be governed by the internal regulations of the educational institution or by other acts; the discriminatory nature of the prohibition, which pertains only to students rather than to all participants in the educational process, i.e. teachers.

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Draft Laws Nos. 3077 (N. Shufrych) and 3077-1 (O. Voloshyn) (first reading, the Committee recommends that both bills be returned to their authors) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON EDUCATION" TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROTECTION OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS OF NATIONAL MINORITIES – the bill grants the status of educational process languages to regional languages and languages of national minorities.

FOR (+): can have a social effect within national minorities and indigenous peoples.

AGAINST (-): decrease in the extent of education provided in the state language, i.e. Ukrainian; the Constitutional Court of Ukraine found that the norms which are proposed to be changed do comply with the Constitution of Ukraine (i.e. that they are constitutional).

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Draft Law No. 3153 (S. Hryvko) (first reading, the Committee proposes that the bill be dismissed) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON HIGHER EDUCATION" TO ADJUST THE NORM REGARDING LIMITATION OF THE LENGTH OF THE TENURE OF OFFICE OF DIRECTOR OF AN INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND HEAD OF A STRUCTURAL UNIT – the requirements regarding the maximum length (no more than 10 years) of holding the position of director of an institute of higher education and head of a structural unit of such institute will apply to directors elected after this Law comes into force. At the same time, the rectors, deans, heads of departments (holders of chairs) who were elected to these positions before the Law came into force will continue to perform their duties under the contracts concluded with them until expiry of the contracts and will have the right to be elected to the respective positions on equal grounds with others.

FOR (+) 3153: stability and effectiveness of the functioning of institutes of higher education.

AGAINST (-) 3153: continuation of a situation when the director of the institute of higher education is ineffective; it will be harder to dismiss ineffective managers of such institutes and elect others instead of them.

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Draft Law No. 3371 (O. Kachura) (first reading, the Committee proposes that the bill be dismissed) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON UNIVERSAL GENERAL HIGHER EDUCATION" (TO PREVENT THE CLOSING AND PROVIDE FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF FURTHER FUNCTIONING OF SANATORIUM SCHOOLS (SANATORIUM BOARDING SCHOOLS)) – the bill proposes exclusion from legislation of the provision according to which, starting from 2020, sanatorium schools are to stop admitting 1st-9th year students and within one year the founders of sanatorium schools must change the type of such institutes of education to lyceums with mandatory preservation of their status as parts of boarding houses.

FOR (+) 3371: continued operation of sanatorium schools.

AGAINST (-) 3371: need for additional financing from the State Budget without specifying the respective sources.

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Draft Laws Nos. 3430 (Y. Tymoshenko) and 3430-1 (N. Korolevska) (first reading, the Committee recommends that both bills be returned to their authors) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON UNIVERSAL GENERAL HIGHER EDUCATION" TO RENEW THE RIGHTS OF EDUCATIONAL PROCESS PARTICIPANTS – the bill proposes the exclusion of the norm according to which permanent labor contracts with directors and teachers of state- and municipally-owned institutes of general secondary education be terminated after those persons have reached the age of retirement and are entitled to a pension; and conclusion with them of contracts for one to three years.

FOR (+): protection of the rights of a particular category of teachers,

AGAINST (-): need for additional financing from the State Budget without specifying the respective sources.

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Draft Law No. 3011 (O. Saladukha) (first reading, the Committee recommends that the bill be adopted as a basis) ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON PHYSICAL CULTURE AND SPORTS" (TO REGULATE THE HOLDING OF SPORTS EVENTS AND PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND SPORTS) – the bill proposes improvements to the procedure for admitting athletes to participation in physical exercise, recreational and sports events; creation of conditions for medical examination of persons involved in physical exercise and sports by sports medicine doctors and for provision of medical services at mass sports events; adoption of an individual decision on participation in competitions by persons on the basis of personal awareness of all risks and consequences and personal responsibility for the state and medical control of their own health.

FOR (+) 3011: simplification of the process of participation of amateur athletes in various sorts of marathons and long-distance runs; saving athletes’ time and money.

AGAINST (-) 3011: irresponsible attitude to persons to new responsibilities as to deciding on their own whether or not to participate in sports events; threat of increase in the number of victims of marathons and long-distance runs; impossibility for people to adequately assess the state of their health on their own in the absence of special medical knowledge.

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44. Draft Resolution No. 4082 (author: Y. Hryshyna) ON APPEALING TO THE CABINET OF MINISTERS OF UKRAINE TO TAKE URGENT MEASURES TO ENSURE SAFE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS UNDER CONDITIONS OF THE QUARANTINE IMPOSED TO PREVENT THE SPREAD COVID-19 – an appeal to the Cabinet of Ministers to redistribute the expenses of the Anti-COVID-19 Fund, allocating funds to: (1) the purchase of personal protective equipment for teachers and schoolchildren (2.2 billion UAH, including 1,2 billion UAH for face masks, 330 million UAH for disinfecting agents for hands, and 720 million for floor disinfectants); (2) extra amounts added to the salaries of teachers for performing particularly important work to support the educational process under quarantine conditions as a subvention to the local budgets (5.7 billion UAH); and (3) technical support for remote teaching under conditions of quarantine measures (3.3 billion UAH).

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45. Draft Resolution No. 4108 (author: S. Babak) ON THE SAFETY OF TEACHERS OF INSTITUTES OF GENERAL SECONDARY AND VOCATIONAL (TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL) EDUCATION DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – an appeal to the Cabinet of Ministers to redistribute the expenses of the Anti-COVID-19 Fund for a total amount of almost 1.3 billion UAH, in particular: (1) the purchase of personal protective equipment for teachers and students; and (2) extra amounts added to the salaries of teachers for additional workload under conditions of remote and mixed teaching.

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46. Draft Law No. 2136 (author: S. Taruta) (second reading, the Committee proposes that the bill be adopted as a whole) ON AMENDING CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF UKRAINE (REGARDING THE RESTAURANT SPHERE): the word combination “public catering” is replaced with “restaurant sphere”; the amount of fine for violating the restrictions on the sale of beer (except for non-alcoholic beer), alcoholic, low-alcohol beverages, table wines and tobacco products is increased from 6,800 UAH to 10 minimum salaries; voluntary insurance of civil liability of an economic subject in the restaurant sphere is instituted – for possible damage to the lives or health of third parties as a result of carrying on such activities.

FOR (+) 2136: to additional expenses from the State Budget or local budgets are required; the bill can lead to increased State Budget revenues resulting from increased fines; children are protected when staying inside establishments in which entertainment activities are being conducted, or inside public catering establishments against negative impact on their physical, mental, spiritual development; mandatory insurance of civil liability of an economic subject in the restaurant sphere for possible damage to the lives or health of third parties as a result of carrying on such activities is replaced with voluntary insurance.

AGAINST (-) 2136: the introduction of even voluntary insurance can lead to increased prices in the sphere of restaurant business; the size of financial (penal) sanctions for violating restrictions on the sale of beer (except for non-alcoholic beer), alcoholic, low-alcohol beverages, table wines and tobacco products should be specified as an amount in hryvnias; Article 116 of the VR Rules of Procedure is violated since the Draft Law provides for amendments to the Customs Code and other Laws that were not considered in the first reading.

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47. Draft Law No. 3118 (author: H. Vasylchenko) ON AMENDING THE LAW OF UKRAINE “ON LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT IN UKRAINE” TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH STATE GUARANTEES FOR LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT AND PROTECTION OF ITS ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS (second reading; the Committee recommends that the bill be adopted as a whole) – the bill renders impossible single-handed change of the place of registration of municipal enterprises by rayon and oblast councils; an obligation is established to obtain permission to take such actions from village, settlement, city/town and city rayon councils.

FOR (+) 3118: the bill will correct the situation when payment of the personal income tax by enterprises outside the location of structural and detached units of legal entities, at the place of registration of the main enterprise, leads to substantial loss of funds that would otherwise be paid to the respective local budgets and to impossibility to balance the budgets.

AGAINST (-) 3118: the likelihood of conflict between the interests of the territorial community of a village, settlement, or city/town and the common interests of the territorial communities within a rayon and oblast; the impossibility to change the place of registration even in cases when the conditions for carrying on economic activity in the territory of the respective village, settlement, or city/town have become unfavorable; restrictions imposed on rayon and oblast councils as regards the exercise of their powers related to management of jointly owned objects of the rayon/oblast territorial communities; absence of any norms in the Constitution providing for mutual consent to adoption of decisions by local self-government bodies of different levels.

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48. Draft Resolution 2451 (author: S. Cherniavskyi) (resolutions are at once adopted as a whole) ON THE CREATION OF AN AD HOC INVESTIGATION COMMISSION ON DISCOVERY, SYSTEMATIZATION, AND INVESTIGATION OF FACTS OF ABUSE OF OFFICE AT STATE ENTERPRISES, INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS OF THE SYSTEM OF THE FORMER MINISTRY OF AGRARIAN POLICY AND FOOD OF UKRAINE AND THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF AGRARIAN SCIENCES OF UKRAINE IN 2014-2019 – it is proposed that 13 MPs be elected to the Commission, including 8 from THE SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE faction (S.M. Cherniavskyi, head of the Ad Hoc Investigation Commission; A.V. Bohdanets, O.V. Haida, M.V. Huzenko, S.A. Lytvynenko, M.T. Solskyi, A.O. Chronomorov, P.V. Khalimon) 1 from the faction “FOR THE FUTURE” (I.A. Chaikivskyi – deputy head of the Commission), 1 from the HOLOS faction (O.V. Makarova), 1 from the DOVIRA faction (M.I. Kuchera), 1 from the EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY faction (O.O. Honcharenko), and 1 from the OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE (V.P. Bort); “Batkivshchyna” has not proposed a representative to the Commission.

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Draft Law 3817 (Cabinet of Ministers) (first reading, the Committee recommends to adopt as a basis) ON AMENDMENTS TO THE LAW OF UKRAINE "ON COMPENSATION TO CITIZENS LOSS OF PART OF INCOME IN CONNECTION WITH VIOLATION OF TERMS OF THEIR PAYMENT" – the list of cash incomes of citizens is determined, in case of delay of which for one or more calendar months, compensation will be paid, namely: pensions or monthly lifetime allowance, social benefits, scholarships, wages (cash security), the amount of indexation of cash incomes.

FOR (+) 3817: increase in income of persons whose salary is delayed; an exhaustive list of payments prevents corruption; elimination of possible abuses of social benefits.

AGAINST (-) 3817: compensation will be paid from the Pension Fund, the Social Insurance Fund, the Unemployment Fund, and other special-purpose social funds; payment as compensation is absent in the lists of types of material support and social services for the relevant types of insurance provided by the relevant funds.